GB-CHI Grades: Aaron Rodgers continues to impress

Meanwhile, the Jay Cutler narrative continues as the QB grades out at -2.6.

| 1 year ago
(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

GB-CHI Grades: Aaron Rodgers continues to impress


Here are the top takeaways and highest-graded players from the GB-CHI game:

Green Bay Packers

– The best quarterback in the league continues to play like it. QB Aaron Rodgers recorded just 23 pass attempts and 189 yards passing, but had several impressive throws that led to his third-highest overall grade since 2012 (+6.0).

– After getting let go by both the Raiders and Giants in the last nine months, WR James Jones made both teams look foolish with a stellar performance in his return to Green Bay. Jones caught all four passes thrown his way en route to a +2.8 overall grade—the second highest of his nine-year career. It was his first multi-touchdown game since 2012, and he even had a third touchdown nullified due to a holding penalty. Jones likely won’t continue to play at such a high level week in and week out, but the Packers have shown that they will manage without WR Jordy Nelson.

– NT B.J. Raji saw his first game action since the end of the 2013 season, and was back at his old position playing nose tackle. He earned his first overall grade over +1.0 (+1.7) since the 2012 season, and looked much closer to the player we saw early in his career. Raji picked up a sack and two pressures, but his performance against the run was maybe more notable since he has always struggled at run defense. He only recorded one downfield tackle, but he gave Bears’ C Will Montgomery trouble on several occasions.

Top performers:

QB Aaron Rodgers (+6.0)
OLB Julius Peppers, (+3.3)
WR James Jones (+2.8)
CB Casey Hayward (+1.9)
RG T.J. Lang (+1.8)

Chicago Bears

– The narrative continues for Bears QB Jay Cutler, as he threw a costly interception to Clay Matthews in the fourth quarter. But even outside of the pick, Cutler had an off day for the most part. He managed just a 60 percent accuracy percentage—that’s accounting for three dropped passes that were on target, and excluding the spike. He was pressured on 18 dropbacks, and completed just four of 14 passes for 30 yards and a -2.7 pass grade when under pressure.

– The Bears parted ways with RT Jordan Mills last week, instead opting to move Kyle Long to right tackle from his usual right guard position. While we’ve never been high on Mills, the move did not pan out in Week 1. Long allowed four pressures (one sack, three hurries) for the first time since Week 4 of 2013, and he seemed to struggle covering more space out at tackle. His -2.7 overall grade was the third-lowest of his career. However, RG Vladimir Ducasse’s performance in Long’s old spot was even more concerning. He struggled in both pass protection and run blocking, while also picking up two penalties. His -6.2 overall grade was among the worst at guard for the week.

– Only one Bears defender earned a grade over +1.0 in their first regular season game under new defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. ILB Shea McClellin (+2.5) seems to be handling the transition to inside linebacker well, particularly in run defense. He certainly looks much more natural at the position than he did playing defensive end a few years ago.

Top performers:

ILB Shea McClellin (+2.5)
LT Jermon Bushrod (+2.3)
WR Alshon Jeffery (+2.1)
TE Martellus Bennett (+1.9)
FS Adrian Amos (+0.9)

| Analyst

Matt has been an analyst for PFF since 2013. He is also a contributor to 120 Sports and a former NCAA Division-III football player.

  • Chmike

    It is nice to see that Rookie FS Adrian Amos graded positive against the best QB in the game. It is promising for him and the Bears organization.

    • jim

      absolutely.

  • Jason Williams

    I had hope for this season for the Bears but after seeing the “new Cutler” yesterday, I’m ready for a new QB.

    • jim

      that new cutler, we can fix him, BS surfaces every year. it has never been proven true. he is just not a winner.

    • techvet

      As a Packers fan, I can say that you got screwed when what’s-his-face signed Cutler to a long extension. Perhaps the Bears can cut him after this year is over.

      • Matthew Subtlety Ivancic

        Kind of the bummer about cutting him next year is he has like 10 mil of guaranteed money heading his way.

        The contract is easy to get out of year to year, but there’s kind of a tank year built in. No Andrew Luck to tank FOR on the horizon though…

      • crosseyedlemon

        The Bears were down to playing third string QBs when Cutler’s contract came up for extension so it’s not like the front office had any leverage they could use to bargain with. The real tragedy is that the front office became so concerned about the Cutler situation that they did nothing to stop the collapse of the defense.

    • Brian Dugan

      Understandable. If I were a Bears fan, I’d be most worried about the absolute lack of trust the coaching staff has in Cutler. He barely threw down the field at all and Dom Capers’ scheme was basically daring him to.

    • GiveNoFuq

      I’d like to see him in this offense when Kyle Long us settled in and Jeffery at 100%. That with a heavy dose of Forte, I think 8 wins is possible.

      • Jason Williams

        that is a very best case scenario. which makes me sad. I was hoping John Fox would bring more to this team. They still look like the same underperforming group as last year to me.

  • jim

    the number for mcclellin a BIG surprise. keep it up.

  • AJ

    Hopefully Raji’s run defense wasn’t a fluke. If he can sustain strong play in that area, maybe the Packers can move Clay Matthews back outside full time. Inside linebacker would then easily become the weakest part of that team, but strong play on the interior of the line could mitigate that in the run game.

    However, after seeing Matthews play well in coverage on a few plays in this game, maybe they will want to keep using him this way.

    • GBPfan

      As long as they keep Raji at nose tackle – he’ll bring it (unless he plays way too many snaps like 2011).

      Now we just need better contain on the outside (should help that we don’t have to play another monster runblocker at TE like Bennett til the rematch).

      • Tommy

        Datone and Guion will help the overall run defense a great deal when they get back into the rotation, i think.

    • Joe Doe

      I would love to see some grading on Clay Matthews as inside linebacker vs. outside linebacker. I believe he plays much better at inside even though his heart lies with the outside. Either way, we have more depth at outside linebacker, making the pertinent move to keep him inside, regardless of Raji’s play.

    • Jacob Padilla

      Moving Clay to the outside full time doesn’t really make sense to me at this point. The Packers have plenty of guys who can play on the outside and nobody at all on the interior, especially with Barrington banged up. He’s good enough in all facets of the game to make plays regardless of where he lines up.

  • crosseyedlemon

    Probably can’t blame Jay (why does everyone hate me) Cutler and the offense for the loss against the Packers. Bears had 18 more offensive plays than Green Bay and the best way to beat Rodgers is to keep him on the sideline as long as possible. So in that regard the Chicago offensive game plan worked pretty well. Unfortunately Rodgers is very efficient even when his opportunities are reduced and the Bears defense learned that in the 4th quarter.

  • Tommy

    GB has maybe the worst ILB’s in the entire league for a 3-4 scheme if u take away Clay Matthews snaps at the positions.

    • Cant FixStupid

      Well it doesn’t help when Sam Barrington, the guy the Packers were counting on really stepping up after the nice 2nd half he had last year goes out with a season ending injury after just the 1st couple drives. That really doesn’t help. And it’s about time Jake Ryan, the draft pick gets a chance but the Packers don’t like throwing rookies out there, even if they are ready..

  • Tommy

    GB needs Datone Jones DE to break out this year/week. He has shown flashes of being a disruptive force, he just needs to finish and play with confidence.

  • Tommy

    If Forte banged off 141, I’m scared to death what Lynch can do if SEA commits to just slamming the ball down GB’s throat.

    • Brian Dugan

      I agree, especially with Wilson and that read option complicating things. One thing we have going for us this year vs. Seattle is their offensive line looks pretty questionable thus far (granted against a great St. Louis Rams defensive front).

    • Jacob Padilla

      Forte did most of his advantage on the edge from what I saw. The Packers did pretty well in shutting down the inside run. Getting Morgan Burnett back at strong safety should be huge for the run defense, and Datone Jones will be back this week as well.

    • Nick Hesterly

      Miss tackles plagued the Packers; inside they were allowing minimal yards; outside it got ugly.

    • Kevin

      Lucky for gb that the Hawks have a horrible Oline which will make it easier on their defense. I wonder if any Oline in PFF history has had as bad of a day as the Hawks collectively graded. It had to be at least -20 overall.

  • Justin

    Another great article… Keep’em coming

  • scott_wallace

    Would like you to keep third down conversion to first down. While we are on that Cutler generated 7 first downs from 12 third downs where he passed. That’s very high-higher than Rogers. Why isn’t that captured?

    • jim

      zzzzzzzzz. another cutler apologist.

      • scott_wallace

        Another stupid 19th century Chicago Bears fan- you probably love the rapist- Rothlisberger, Vick -the dog torturer and Allen the double murderer.

        • jim

          stupid? calling me stupid and assuming which players i admire over football? i didn’t call you any names. quite childish of you. apparently you have never grown up. certainly you are a person i am glad i do not know. pathetic.